6 Ways to Stop Windows Updates

Get rid of the irritating Windows Update once and for all.

Stop Updates Windows 11 Featured Image

Windows updates bring crucial stability and security improvements to your OS. But they can also be a nuisance. Not only do they disrupt your work by requiring a restart, they can also negatively affect user experience. Case in point, Microsoft has released numerous updates with bugs in recent years.

Luckily, you can stop or pause Windows updates with a few tweaks to your system, as will be described below.

1. Pause Windows Updates in Settings

If you want to pause Windows updates for some time (up to a few weeks), do the following:

Note: This method is available for Windows 11 Pro and Home, as well as Windows 10.

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I.
  1. Click on “Windows Update” at the bottom of the left pane if you’re using Windows 11. For Windows 10, you will have to go to “Update & Security” from Settings to find the “Windows Update” section.
Windows System Settings
  1. Under “More Options,” go to “Pause updates” and select the number of weeks you want updates paused in the drop-down menu. You can choose anywhere between one week to five weeks.
Windows Update screen
  1. Windows will no longer update your PC for the period you’ve selected.
  2. If you want to undo the setting, go back to “Windows Update” in Settings and click on “Resume Updates.”

2. Use the Registry Editor

The Registry Editor is a powerful tool for optimizing your Windows experience. You can also use it to block automatic Windows updates.

Before using this method, create a system restore point. Making the wrong modifications to the registry can affect the performance of your PC or even damage the system.

To stop Windows 11/10 updates using the registry editor, do the following:

  1. Press Win + R to open “Run”.
  2. Enter regedit into the box and hit Enter to open the “Registry Editor”.
Stop Updates Windows 11 3
  1. Navigate to the following registry location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  1. Find the “WindowsUpdate” key. If it doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create a new one.
Windows Update registry editor
  1. If you need to create a new key, select the “Windows” folder, right-click and select “New-> Key”.
  2. Rename the key to “WindowsUpdate”.
Add new key in Registry Editor
  1. Under “WindowsUpdate”, create a new key by right-clicking and selecting “New-> Key”.
  2. Rename the key as “AU”.
  3. Right-click on the “AU” key and create a new “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
New DWORD in Registry Editor
  1. Rename this Value as “NoAutoUpdate”.
  2. Double click on “NoAutoUpdate” and enter “1” in the “Value data” field. Save changes by clicking “OK”.
NoAutoUpdate in Registry Editor
  1. Restart your PC to apply the changes.

3. Delay Windows Update Restart Times

You can delay Windows updates by stopping your PC from automatically restarting. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Press Win + I to open Settings.
  2. In Windows 11, click on “Windows Update” at the bottom left-hand corner of the window.
  1. Click on “Advanced Options” and navigate to “Active hours.” In Windows 10, you don’t need to go to Advanced to find this option. It’s listed in the “Windows Update” screen.
Windows Update Advanced Options
  1. Under “Adjust active hours,” select “Manually” in the drop-down menu.
  2. Set the “Active hours” within which you don’t want your PC to restart above.
Windows Update Active hours

Whenever Microsoft releases a Windows update, your PC will only restart outside the set Active hours to install the update.

4. Use Windows Services

You can stop automatic Windows 11/10 updates completely by disabling the Windows update service. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Press Win + R to open “Run”.
  2. Enter services.msc into the textbox and hit Enter to open “Windows Services”.
Run services.msc
  1. Navigate to “Windows Update” on the right pane and double-click on it.
Windows Update in services.msc
  1. In the new window, go to “Startup type” and select “Disabled” in the drop-down menu.
Windows Update Properties
  1. Under “Service status,” click “Stop” if the Windows Update service is still running.
  2. Hit Enter to close the window.
Stop Windows Update

5. Try the Windows Update Blocker Utility

Another option for permanently stopping Windows updates is using the “Windows Update Blocker Utility”. This tool is a handy app meant for blocking updates on Windows 10 but also works for Windows 11. Here’s a step-by-step guide for using Windows Update Blocker:

  1. Open the Windows Update Blocker download page to download the utility.
  2. Double-click on the zip folder to extract the installation file (Wub.exe/Wub_x64.exe).
  3. Run the file to open the “Windows Update Blocker Utility”.
Windows Update Blocker Utility
  1. Select the “Disable updates” option and click on the “Apply Now” button. Wait a few seconds for the changes to take place.
  2. After the process is complete, the “Service Status” badge will turn red. Close the utility and restart your PC.
Disable Windows Updates

6. Group Policy

Another way to disable automatic updates on Windows 11 is to use the “Local Group Policy Editor”. Only use this method if you have Windows 11 Pro or higher. Here’s how it works:

  1. Press Win + R to open “Run”.
  2. In the textbox, enter gpedit.msc and hit Enter.
Run gpedit.msc
  1. The “Local Group Policy Editor” will launch.
  2. Click on “Computer Configuration” and select “Administrative Templates”.
Stop Updates Windows Local Group Policy Editor Administrative
  1. On the right side select “Windows Components”.
  2. Double click on it to brig up a list of options. Select “Windows Update” from the bottom.
Stop Updates Windows Local Group Policy Editor Windows Update Folder
  1. Finally press on “Manage end user experience” on the left.
Group Policy Windows Update policy
  1. Double-click on “Configure Automatic Updates” on the right pane.
Group Policy configure Automatic Updates
  1. Select “Disabled” to turn off Windows automatic updates.
Group Policy disable Windows Update
  1. Click “Apply” and then “OK”.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you ignore Windows updates?

If you don’t update your Windows 11 OS, you’ll miss out on critical security and stability improvements and new features from Microsoft.

How often should I update Windows?

Ideally, you should update Windows as soon as a new update is released. However, this might not be practical for everyone. As a compromise, update Windows at least once a month.

How do I stop a Windows Update installation in progress?

  1. Go to Settings by pressings Win + I.
  2. Click on “Windows Update” in the left pane.
  3. Select “Stop” from the menu.

All screenshots by Richad Kanyoro.

Image credit: Pixabay

Richard Kanyoro
Richard Kanyoro

I'm a tech writer. I believe the world’s biggest problems can be solved by progressively solving the little ones. I hope that through my writing, I can help people solve the little problems in their life.

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